1976 Bern Agreement

On 25 August 1976, the Security Council, in Resolution 395 (1976), called on the parties to “resume direct negotiations on their differences” and asked them to “do everything in their power to ensure that these negotiations lead to mutually acceptable solutions.” The Council also called on “Turkey and Greece to continue to take into account, in this regard, the contribution that the appropriate judicial means, in particular the ICJ, can make to the resolution of all the legal differences they may see in their current dispute.” The dispute over the Continental Shelf (CS) is the result of the absence of a delimitation agreement between the two countries and has implications for the general balance of rights and interests of the Aegean Sea, as it concerns areas attributable to Turkey and Greece beyond the 6-mile sea. In the past, the issue of the CS has created tensions between Turkey and Greece. Following scientific research conducted by Turkey in 1976, Greece referred the matter to both the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice (ICJ). On 10 August 1976, Greece sent a note to the President of the Security Council requesting an emergency meeting of the Council, stating that “following the recent gross violations of Greece`s sovereign rights in the Aegean continental shelf, Turkey has created a dangerous situation that threatens international peace and security.” On the same day, Greece opened proceedings against Turkey for “a dispute over the delimitation of the continental shelf of Greece and Turkey in the Aegean Sea and the respective legal rights of those states to investigate and operate the Aegean KS” for unilateral application to the ICJ. Also on the same day, Greece submitted a request for interim safeguards. On 25 August 1976, the Security Council, in Resolution 395 (1976), called on the parties to “resume direct negotiations on their differences” and asked them to “do everything in their power to ensure that these negotiations lead to mutually acceptable solutions.” The Council also called on “Turkey and Greece to continue to take into account, in this regard, the contribution that the appropriate judicial means, in particular the ICJ, can make to the resolution of all the legal differences they may see in their current dispute.” On 11 September 1976, the International Court of Justice rejected Greece`s request for interim measures. The Court also found that areas outside territorial waters are in fact “conflict zones”. Subsequently, in 1978, the Court decided that it did not have the power to bring the Greek application to the merits of the matter.